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Publisher's Summary

A murdered crime writer. An idyllic Yorkshire town. Can DCI Oldroyd separate fact from fiction?

A famous writer is found murdered at the Victorian baths in the Yorkshire town of Harrogate. In a crime worthy of one of his novels, Damian Penrose, who was appearing at the town’s crime writing festival, has been ruthlessly strangled. But with no trace of the murderer and no apparent means of escape, how did the killer simply vanish from the scene of the crime?

There’s only one mind capable of unlocking this mystery: DCI Jim Oldroyd. But as he and his team quickly discover, while Penrose was popular with the reading public, he had made plenty of enemies. Feuds over money, accusations of plagiarism, a string of affairs.... His route to the top left a trail of embittered rivals - and suspects. But which of them was willing to commit murder?

When Penrose’s shocking death proves to be just the first of many, it becomes clear to Oldroyd that he is dealing with a calculating criminal hell-bent on revenge. He must find and bring them to justice. Before the truth becomes more chilling than fiction....

©2019 J. R. Ellis (P)2019 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved.

What listeners say about The Royal Baths Murder

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Murdered Writer in Historic and Idyllic Setting

Once again DCI Jim Oldroyd finds himself faced with near impossible odds in determining how someone got into the historic Victorian baths and murdered Damian Penrose, a famous mystery writer in town for the Harrogate’s Crime Writing Festival. With a growing list of suspects and a town full of tourists for the annual festival, Oldroyd and his team have quite a job ahead of them. The fourth in the series is superb, and also gives us more details in the personal lives of Jim Oldroyd, Andy Carter, and Stephanie Johnson. Steph has been loaned out to another DCI at the station, who is unscrupulous and keeps preying on the young women who work there. And so far, no one has challenged him, including his superiors, who must suspect his behavior. Jim Oldroyd, spurred on by his daughter, Louise, has subscribed to an on-line dating service. Finally getting up the courage to meet one of the women for coffee, Oldroyd finds he rather likes her. I also like, Oldroyd’s sister, Alison, who is a vicar in a nearby village. The investigation of the murder at the baths is stumping Oldroyd and his team and in the meantime, the writing festival continues and Oldroyd digs deeper into Damian Penrose’s past. There is no lack of dirt there. Great tale of intrigue. Of course, my favorite part is always listening to Oldroyd as he puts all the pieces of the puzzle together.

1 person found this helpful

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Narrators Voice Irritates

I just can’t concentrate on the storyline when the narrator’s voice irritates me so much

1 person found this helpful

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Old school sexist writing

Sexist old school male writer that makes females look and behave like idiots. Stopped about 2 hours in because I couldn't take any more. Full of cliches. Female police officer blamed crying on time of the month.

1 person found this helpful

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  • RT
  • 11-04-19

Weakest in series

I enjoy the setting of these books and the details about Yorkshire. The series are Agatha Christie in nature but the writing is uneven and nowhere close to the legendary mystery author. This was the weakest in the series and seemed to be primarily a vehicle for his political point of view.

1 person found this helpful

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Best so far

This was fun. Way too many characters to keep track of but still quite good. In fact, it was my favorite of the series so far. I still am leery of the romance between two of the characters.

This was another locked room mystery. And the setting of a murder at a murder mystery festival was a cute way to go. Much of it was predictable but I enjoyed it. I liked seeing Oldroyd step out of his comfort zone.

And Michael Page’s narration was quite decent.

1 person found this helpful

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Excellent job.

Interesting characters. Unusual plot twists. Great job by the narrator. I’m truly enjoying the entire series.

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Complex and Fun

Enjoyed this twisty plot. Surprise ending for me. Scenic English countryside was an added plus.

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Well Done Love Letter to Agarha Christie

J.R Ellis continues a four book streak of excellent puzzle-box mysteries, read by an enthusiastic Michael Page. Here, Ellis indulges in the meta-fiction of crime writers getting murdered at a crime fiction convention. He openly dedicates the story to classic locked room mysteries like Christie's as he writes a story in that vein.

Ellis has grown in his writing through the series. This entry has an involved but not overdone mystery one could just about solve along with DCI Oldroyd. However, like a good Agatha Christie novel, that is unlikely on the first go-round (I didn't). He continues a slightly preachy undertone with a side plot with Steph that I found unnecessary but much less jarring and out-of-place than its first appearance in the last book. I won't give spoilers, but I also would have preferred a murderer more directly engaged in the public plot; the identity came a bit out of nowhere. But, overall, excellent book, and I will keep reading the series.

Michael Page continues as an enthusiastic narrator with a good Yorkshire accent as needed. However, it is still a little difficult to distinguish his voices from each other. Combined with Ellis's habit of sometimes going by characters' first names, sometimes last, it can get a bit confusing. But, overall, great read. He brings the books to life.

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Second reading was even better than the first!

I read this book years ago - they updated a few words. Enjoyed it then. Enjoyed it even more the second time even though I kept remembering things about it as I went along. The book is set at a murder mystery writers seminar near the Royal Baths. This absolutely odious man that was a famous murder mystery writer is killed. There are so many suspects that narrowing it down becomes difficult. It becomes less difficult as some of the major suspects are murdered.

There is also a subplot of the female detective that is loaned to another investigation that having to deal with this horrible boss and other detectives that are pigs and deserve to be put out on their ears.

Really loved this book. As the characters are in other books, it is nice to see the development of their strengths.

Michael Page is one of my favorite narrators. He has a beautiful timbre to his voice and you know who is speaking.

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Good Twists

A murder at a crime writers festival. Cool idea and we'll executed with a nod to Agatha Christie and the White Swan.

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  • Ory
  • 12-12-19

Peculiar Yorkshire

Posh bloke trying t speak Yorkshire dialect, he's crap keeps on saying t all time. Sounds peculiar, he ought t stick t posh books n leave us Yorkshire tykes t read Audiobooks.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Diane Walmsley
  • 11-06-19

well worth the wait, next please

wonderful to be back in the tantalising of who done it and thd wonderful description s of the area.
the plot kept me guessing till the end also wondering who or why the next one to be murdered would be. Loved it and cant wait for the next

2 people found this helpful

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  • K. Tye
  • 08-02-20

Another Brilliant Yorkshire Murder Mystery

I absolutely adored this book, not just because it is set in my county of birth, all the authors books in this series are, and not because it is narrated by the incomparable Michael Page, but because the setting for this story is the Theakstons Crime Writers Festival in Harrogate. I have been promising myself a trip to this event every year for the last five or six years and each year something has come up. I know feel like I have visited having read this wonderful book. The characters are, as always in these mysteries, complex and involved, and the plot as always could not be more twisty if it tried. This is the 4th I have read and cannot wait to get my hands on number 5. I would recommend this five star listen to anyone who loves a good mystery.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Pauline Colsey
  • 06-11-21

A good read

Very enjoyable read. Original and well thought out murder mystery. Keeps you guessing. Good characters.

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  • mungo
  • 09-04-20

interesting but not enthralling

interesting storyline with several twists but never really grabbed the unwavering attention and was easy to put down after a short listen.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • R. O'Connor
  • 09-01-20

Comic book style story

This is fine as a background, hammy and rather cliched tale. If you’re looking for something that states the obvious and hands explanations and the solution to you on a plate, then it’s definitely for you. It’s the equivalent of the easiest of easy listening music.

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  • tony
  • 04-22-20

Good storyline until the end

Enjoyed book until near the end felt like author struggled and created implausible ending disappointing

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Julie Turner
  • 02-23-20

Yorkshire?

The story was very weak in my opinion, I stuck it out till the end. Being from Yorkshire myself I found the narrator's accents torturous to listen to.

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  • andrew pearson
  • 12-29-19

Great writing and story telling.

This is must listen too book a grate plot and Performance by the story teller.

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  • Bronwyn R
  • 12-28-19

Narrator a distraction

I very much enjoy J R Ellis's crime novels, and the story to this one was also a good one. However, I was greatly distracted by the voice of the narrator, as it was extra loud overall and just about every voice/accent sounded pompous! Also the women's dialogue sounded like it was being read by a female impersonator in a Christmas pantomime, also, still quite pompous....I tried not to let this affect my reception of the story itself, but it was impossible to ignore. Maybe it's just me, but I am used to much mellower narration, better suited to the scenario. Nothing personal, Michael Page, but I just don't think you were the right person for this story!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 11-16-19

average

Not one of the best books I have listened to but
able to listen to the end story line ok. narration was good.

1 person found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 06-28-20

An Exercise in Endurance

Sadly I don't think this narrator's skills are suited to audio books. He had a shouty style & the gravelly voice characteristics he gave some characters were physically unpleasant to listen to. This is not the best crafted story & I did get tired if the 'bloody hells'. However it may have been more enjoyable with a different narrator.